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“It immediately triggered an idea: if I ferment the wine without removing the stems (a.k.a. whole bunch fermentation), chances were that I could possibly extract some of that exciting spice. So I chucked 33.33333% of the total volume of grapes into a fermentation vessel (stems and all) and crushed it with my feet. With the balance of the grapes, I removed the stems using a de-stemmer and filled the tank. All the grapes then underwent spontaneous fermentation. After 4 weeks, I pressed the grapes and the wine aged in barrel for a year. When the time came for label design, I did a pencil drawing of an old-fashioned film camera taking a photo of a grape-stem. I blackened the camera lens in such a way that only one third of the stem was exposed to the camera. I then called the wine 33.3333.
In 2015, the stems were super ripe and I decided to do 100% whole bunch fermentation. On the label I altered the sketch in order for the camera lens to have a 100% exposure to the stem.
2016, the stems were ripe, but not as ripe as the 2015 vintage, so I went for 70% exposure.
When it came to the 2017 vintage I decided that, in order for this wine to get to the next level, it needed more complexity. The only way to gain complexity is to add vineyards with flavour profiles that would enhance and add layers to the original wine. A little bit of Shiraz from the Swartland and a tad Cinsaut from the Breedekloof did the trick. Having had 80% whole cluster fermentation, I initially called the wine 80.0000 (referring to the percentage exposure to stems as in previous years), but this was confusing to my clients. I then changed the name to Oppie-Koppie, the name the farmer calls the vineyard – a 2017 Voor-Paardeberg Shiraz (my 4th vintage from this block of grapes). Northern Rhône-like in style, super spicy with nice grip. Ageing will only do this wine great but you can also drink it now.” – Producer Note
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